By JPOST.COM STAFF

The Simon Wiesenthal Center condemned over the weekend a German court ruling that granted significant financial restitution to the son of a Nazi official whose property had been confiscated after WWII.

Karl Krasting joined the Nazi party in 1930, and was a regional party judge from 1931 to 1934. He later served as an official who helped set local policy, a member of the Nazis’ bar association and director of one of the party’s offices for legal affairs.

Yet on Thursday, Judge Dieter Kley of the Federal Administrative Court in Leipzig ruled that Krasting did not “actively” support the Nazi regime, paving the way for his son to receive compensation.

“This verdict clearly minimizes the criminal responsibility of those who actively supported the Nazis before and after the takeover of power,” said Dr. Efraim Zuroff, the Wiesenthal Center’s chief Nazi-hunter, in a statement issued in Israel and in Germany.

“The fact that Krasting volunteered and worked without a salary for the NSDAP [the Nazi party] is clear proof of his ideological and active support for the Nazis, in direct contradiction of the court’s decision. This verdict sends an absolutely disastrous message in terms of its presentation of the historical events of the Third Reich, which are being severely distorted,” Zuroff said.

In 1948, the Soviet Red Army confiscated two houses belonging to Krasting in Dippoldiswalde, Saxony, 18 km. south of Dresden.

His son Wolf-Achim Krasting subsequently demanded restitution; the city of Dresden and the local administrative court initially rejected his claim.

Thursday’s court decision has significant implications. In Saxony alone, there are some 5,500 similar cases pending.

“If people like Krasting did not ‘actively’ support the Nazi regime, then who did? Were the crimes of the Third Reich committed by ghosts?” Zuroff asked.